Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Phillies Get Lee From Indians

        The Phillies have finally made a move to bolster their starting rotation.  No, they did not trade for Roy Halladay.  Instead the Phillies went with their "Plan B" and acquired  Cleveland ace Cliff Lee, last year's AL CY Young award winner.  

        The Phillies sent Carlos Carrasco, Jason Knapp, Lou Marson, and Jason Donald to Cleveland for Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco.  The Phillies can use Francisco as a righty bat off the bench.  This is a good deal for the Phillies because of who they didn't give up.

        Lee is 7-9 this year with a 3.14 ERA with the Indians.  Lee's won-loss record may not seem impressive but you have to remember that he was pitching for a team that's 11 games back in their division.  

        In his last three starts Lee has pitched 2 complete games.  The other start wasn't too shabby either: 7IP and 2ER.

        The remarkable thing about this trade is that the Phillies didn't have to give up Kyle Drabek, J. A. Happ, Michael Taylor, or Dominic Brown.  Those four are widely considered to be their top prospects (although Knapp was ranked highly also).  

        Lee contract is up at the end of next season.  Here's what he said on ESPN 950 in Philly about whether he would definitely test free agency after 2010: "That's where every player wants to be, so honestly, the closer I get to that point, the more likelihood I'm going to be testing free agency. But I still have a year and two months 'til then, so we'll see."

        The Phillies have to extend Lee's contract before he can think about testing free agency.  While the Phils didn't give up as much for Lee, they still gave up four good, young players.  To make up for that, the Phillies need to keep Lee long term.

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